can I plant in my clay soil?
have a corner of my section which has heavy clay soil with poor
drainage. I have applied compost for about three years now and the
soil is beginning to show signs of improvement. However, I am looking
for a suitable tree to grow in these conditions, preferably an evergreen
as we hope to put a pool in this area in the near future.
knowing how high you would like the tree to grow and whether the
area is frost prone, here are a few suggestions.
grows to about 7 metres high, is slow growing, has spectacular creamy-white,
fragrant flowers. Magnolia grandiflora "Little Gem" also
has lovely creamy-white flowers and only grows to a height of 3
metres. Both have lovely foliage.
(Kowhai) there are several varieties growing from 1.2
metres up to 5 metres. However, the flowers do drop and could become
a problem when the pool is installed.
(Lancewood or Five Finger) another evergreen NZ native
which is extremely hardy. There are variegated forms to add interest.
(Pohutukawa) various cultivars are available, including
yellow flowered and variegated forms. Which variety you choose would
depend upon the final height you want it to grow to.
may also be a possibility. It has lovely creamy-white flowers and
clusters of yellow stamens. It flowers in winter and grows to a
height of 3 metres. Gordonias are slow growing.
there are several varieties of Grevillea that grow from 2
to 3 metres in height. They have attractive spider-like flowers
and are extremely hardy.
or G. lucida NZ natives worthy of a look.
leylandii is a fast growing conifer with attractive foliage.
Grows to a height of 5 metres.
This list is by no means
comprehensive and is only a starting point your local garden
centre can help with trees suited to your local conditions.
It may be worth looking
at planting into a raised bed to improve drainage, or using gypsum
to help break down the clay soil. Gypsum comes in a powder form,
is a type of lime and is also available in a liquid form.
Meanwhile, keep adding
compost, peat or as much well-rotted organic material to the soil
as you can.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH